At this point there’s several small lists of things I want to get on with and one of my biggest problems is getting those lists to mesh happily. Recently some of those have started conflicting with each other; the house I’m staying in is having some large bits of work done to it, last week was the electrics and currently all the big bits of construction (removing and adding walls, staircases, doors etc). As part of my rent I’m helping out with smaller parts of that, removing carpets, bathroom tiles, etc, and that’s fine, I can anticipate that and plan all my animation based stuff around it, but that’s more difficult to do with those larger things. The electrical work meant the mains power supply was very sporadic for a day or so early last week, whilst the building work late last week and most of this coming week will mean the wifi router having to be safely tucked out the way, effectively limiting me to one or two bars of slow internet during the day.
I realise this sounds very close to just being an irritated grumble, but really the point I’m trying to get at is that I didn’t really realise how much I took the internet (and easily accessible power for electric devices) for granted until it wasn’t reliably there anymore. It’s so easy to think something along the lines of ‘Right, I’ll send that email now’, go to do it then remember that there isn’t any power to the building so the wifi isn’t on. As the entirety of next week is going to be those big pieces of construction it’s quite likely that I’ll only have reliable internet access in the evenings, so I’m currently wondering how I’m going too organise my time around that. You really don’t realise how much you use it in short bursts through the day; emails, checking events, checking how to get to places or researching.
The most obvious advantage is that no internet means no other distractions from actually animating during the day. Whilst the electricians where here (and consequentially whilst the electricity was turned off) I decided to take all the battery power my laptop had, about 3 hours, and spend it all in After Effects. What I came up with in that time was the start of realising an idea I’ve had for a while, trying to establish a general atmosphere/mood rather than tell a specific story. My original idea for this was an early morning walk in an autumnal forest, lots of fog, mist and dew, bright leaves falling, light beams, slow and delicate. After thinking about it for a while I thought there ought to be some kind of narrative progression, so I’m thinking it’ll start summer, leaves begin to fall, and end winter. Simple, fairly obvious as far as narrative structures go, but that’s not the point here.
A while back I made a few comments about how effective the illustrations looked just coloured, no drawn lines. As the scanner was unavailable it seemed like a good time to experiment with this, creating everything within Photoshop rather than hand-drawn illustrations. Because I was using the same ink backgrounds I’ve used for the last few animations it still looks more ‘organic’ than, say, a straight up Flash animation, but otherwise was entirely created in computer. Finally, there’s a rough idea for some audio, I’ve got a simple melody on guitar that I think would fit quite nicely but I’ve only got access to a really cheap classical style one here at the moment. I’ve experimented with recording and it does sound a bit rubbishy, but then that might fit the overall piece quite effectively. It’s worth a try.
There’s a couple of ideas I’ve got for visual sequences that I think would work well but ultimately this is something without a solid plan. In some ways that’s quite scary, you normally wouldn’t go anywhere near making an animation with such a lack of visual structure, but for me this is an experimental piece that I’m working on as and when I can. I don’t want it to be a set time and find I’m putting lots of hours into making it perfect, it should be done when I’m done with it.
I’ve written an awful lot more than I’d intended to for this post, so here’s the first few seconds of what I created last week, to give a general impression of what I’m getting at. The line-less art looks really effective here in my opinion.